“Weird, soulful, old school, catchy, uplifting. All of these words have been used by listeners to describe Tunde’s style. One moment, a chorus of vocals soar over a sitar raga, the next, he sings quietly over a spare Casio keyboard, 808, and gulping tablas. Armed with a strange, wonderful new sound, solid vocals, and commanding stage presence, Tunde is prepared to share his music with the world.”
Many people also use the word “gay” to describe Tunde. Why is it that a gay man is only thought to be one way, feminine or androgynous? Why is it that a straight man is only seen as one way, butch or thuggish? Would people be worried about Tunde’s sexuality if he were a White man?
Dangerous Lee at Tunde’s Cobra music video premiere in March 2010.
I HAD TO ASK THE QUESTION:
Dangerous: Many times I am often asked by others in the community, “What’s up with your boy, Tunde? Is he gay?” Do you have to deal with people questioning your sexuality often? If so, how do you react?
Side note: Before I knew the answer to this question, I would simply answer that I did not know, but I would inquire why they asked or why they cared. Basically it was Black men or other men of color who have asked. They respect Tunde’s talent but felt that his style of dress and overall demeanor was not typical of what they were used to as far as straight men are concerned.
When I learned the answer to the question, I would further explain that he’s an artist, as an artist myself I am often misjudged or misunderstood and I often find that people do not “get me” at all. A persons sexuality is a non factor to me. Tunde is an awesome person and that’s all I care about in anyone.
OK, ON TO TUNDE’S RESPONSE…
Tunde: It’s interesting because people pretty much make up their minds without ever directly asking me. It’s not really a “question” for them as much as it’s like them being sure already! It’s very rare that someone asks me.
So, even though there might not really be a point because people think what they want to think, I’ll answer the inferred question: I’m a weird, androgynous heterosexual (lol). I express my “gender” and “race” in a way that’s atypical, or queer. I don’t mean queer as in “gay;” I mean queer as in just really freaking strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint. In terms of my personal practices/preferences, I don’t have/want same-sex romantic or physical relationships.
In some ways, people assuming I’m gay helps me know *their* true colors more than anything else. If they assume I’m gay and treat me well, then I know they are probably good people! The funniest part is when I’ve had to “come out” to LGBTQ friends as heterosexual; or guys have asked my gay friends if I’m gay because they want to ask me out!
All in all, I don’t have an issue with questions about my sexuality. As long as someone’s uncertainty doesn’t stop them from treating me with respect, then I’m good.
Watch This – Tunde Olaniran Live! Can you spot Dangerous Lee?